CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District announced it intends to award a contract to First Student, a division of FirstGroup, to be in charge of its buses, but the future of that part of the company is unclear.
This change would also oust longtime bus provider Durham School Services. They’ve partnered with the district for more than a decade.
FirstGroup is a Scotland-based transportation company that also runs Greyhound. It’s division First Student operates school buses in more than 400 locations in the United States and Canada.
The contract for First Student, if awarded, would be for $24.7 million and would go into effect on July 1, 2020. It would then expire on June 30, 2021. The contract has the option to be extended at the end of each school year.
Right now, FirstGroup “is exploring options including a possible disposal of its North American school bus and transit divisions,” according to a Bloomberg report.
When asked about the possible changes, First Student spokesperson Jen Biddinger said, “We are excited about the possibility of providing transportation for the Charleston County School District.”
The school district has declined to comment on this matter.
Durham officials said they were hoping to continue their relationship with CCSD.
“We were disappointed to learn that Charleston County School District has selected another transportation provider other than us, given our unique ability to save them money while providing safe, high-quality reliable transportation service,” Durham spokesperson Ed Flavin said. “We have valued our partnership with CCSD since 2007.”
Durham has filed a protest with the school district because of the decision. Other companies, who weren’t chosen, have until Monday to file their own protest to the decision as well.
This school year alone, Durham has faced a number of problems with late buses and a bus driver shortage.